Croydon Council quickly delivers frontline digital services using apps developed with low-code

7th April 2021

Croydon Council has chosen Netcall’s low-code platform as instrumental in delivering frontline digital resident services to meet its Digital Strategy.

Croydon Council recognised the need to redesign and digitise its core statutory service offering to residents. The softare they were using was outdated, restrictive, and expensive to maintain. They needed to build, iterate fast, and drive efficiency savings. Low-code was the perfect technology partner.

Croydon Council set out to improve online services so that residents, businesses, and visitors can transact with them in a way that suits them 24/7/365. In early 2020, as part of an ongoing Medium Term Financial Strategy (MFTS) programme, the council decided to bring forward the decommissioning of its CRM to radically improve online services.

In addition to the financial savings, the change was necessary as the underpinning software [Microsoft Dynamics] required updating to the latest software level. Adding new digital services was difficult and costly in terms of developer resources. The user journey was falling behind what customers expected.

Croydon replaced it using Liberty Create, a low-code platform that enables you to quickly and easily build applications that automate and transform services to improve customer experience.

Building on a foundation of innovation

Croydon Council’s team had just completed their training on Liberty Create when the pandemic hit, so they decided to put the platform to the test. They needed to be able to spin up many critical applications quickly to manage the council and provide assistance to vulnerable residents and local businesses. They started by delivering an app that paid over £ 50 million in government funds to local businesses in six weeks.

And it built from there. Over nine months, Croydon built ten apps for various critical services, from monitoring council performance and resourcing and prioritising services to business grants, Test and Trace, and Council tax recovery.

Using Liberty Create has enabled Croydon to:

  • Make time savings—In the first two weeks, the team wrote standard capabilities that they can reuse repeatedly, such as single sign-on, DNS routing, LLPG integration, and PowerBI integration.
  • See operational efficiencies. The team managed to cope with COVID-19 in an automated, efficient manner. The alternative would have been spreadsheets and MS Forms with manual workarounds/rekeying of information.
  • Reduce costs—Croydon gains flexibility in the team resources it can use at a much lower cost and offers its teams more interesting work.
  • Share work with other councils and benefit from their skills—being able to share and download pre-built apps from AppShare saves the council days of time.

“We have achieved far more than we imagined we would over the last year and that is thanks to the low-code platform we had just implemented.”

Dave Briggs

Head of Digital Operations, Croydon Council

Dave Briggs, Head of Digital Operations at Croydon Council, comments, “We have achieved far more than we imagined we would over the last year, thanks to the low-code platform we had just implemented. We now have 15 people trained on the platform and over 600 users, and that’s just with the proof of concept in place. Create has added value to the council from the word go. Netcall is investing in AppShare and the Community to support councils with their local government as a platform approach. Freeing up these resources is essential for our council to provide even better support to our community, given that time will not need to be spent on handling simple requests that can be dealt with through self-service.”

Netcall logo - white

“We are extremely proud to be supporting local authorities and their collaboration in developing better services for their communities, especially during difficult times. British councils are facing many challenges and it is encouraging for us to see how low-code solutions enable them to quickly respond to emergencies and support citizens in need, while also achieving great efficiencies. It’s exciting to see Croydon’s apps being shared via our Community with peers. It’s the way we want it to work. We’re keen to ensure that our platform allows all local digital teams to deliver solutions that will benefit citizens and staff alike.”

Mark Holmes

Chief Sales Officer, Netcall

Hear from Croydon Council:

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